An insightful rockumentary looking at the history of the British rock band, Blur, as they head out on the road for their 2009 reunion tour.An insightful rockumentary looking at the history of the British rock band, Blur, as they head out on the road for their 2009 reunion tour.An insightful rockumentary looking at the history of the British rock band, Blur, as they head out on the road for their 2009 reunion tour.
In case you've been under a rock for the last twenty odd years, Blur were a four-piece band from Essex led by singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Formed in 1989, the band had some small initial success before drifting off the radar as musical tastes changed. But in the mid-90's, they become one of the biggest acts in the country and became engaged in a vicious feud with Oasis, a rock band from Manchester. But as each band member became consumed with their own demons, the band began to fragment and drift apart only to reunite and begin playing again which would lead to a triumphant return on the biggest musical stage of all - Glastonbury...
"No Distance Left To Run" (named after one of their songs) covers Blur's journey from art college students to stadium legends, via a number of interviews with the band mixed with footage of past and present performances. For fans of Blur, this is simply brilliant as it captures the energy of the group's live appearances as well as the dedication of their still-fanatical fans. But the interviews with the band focuses mainly on Damon and Graham as they were the driving force behind the band as well as part of the reason for their eventual demise. With Damon hooked on heroin and Graham a lonely alcoholic, the band had nowhere to go and so they each went their separate ways. For me, the best moment in the film is their reappearance at Glastonbury and the emotional impact of that night is clearly etched on Damon's face as tens of thousands spontaneously burst into song.
While not as detailed as the documentary behind another of my favourite bands - the epic Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers doc "Runnin' Down A Dream" - there is a sense of things not being covered in as much depth as I would have liked. Damon's relationship and break-up with fellow musician Justine Frischmann is barely covered as is Graham's solo career and as I've eluded to, Dave and Alex don't get nearly as much screen time. But despite the fact that the band have probably had their hand in somewhere, this remains a strong account of one of Britian's biggest and best-loved bands of the last twenty years.
- Feb 29, 2012